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Swimming at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games:

Men's 200 metres Backstroke

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Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, Atlanta, Georgia
Date Started: July 26, 1996
Date Finished: July 26, 1996

Gold: USA Brad Bridgewater
Silver: USA Tripp Schwenk
Bronze: ITA Emanuele Merisi


In 1992 this race had provided the host nation of Spain with one of their greatest ever Olympic moments as home swimmer [Martín López-Zubero] had become their first ever Olympic swimming champion. He returned from a brief retirement to defend his Olympic title although [Vladimir Selkov], the silver medalist from Barcelona and current world champion, was now thought to have usurped the Spaniard’s position as world number one.

Neither Selkov or López-Zubero arrived at Atlanta with the fastest time of the year so far – that honour belonged to the Italian [Emanuele Merisi] who had swam a fast 1:57.70 at the Italian Olympic trails. However none of the three could perform up to expectations at the Olympic Games and Selkov failed even to reach the final. The men who did produce their best on the important day were two Americans who were both from Florida and who had competed against each other since they were very young.

[Brad Bridgewater] took up the pace after the first turn with [Tripp Schwenk] hanging on his heels. Both men tired down the home stretch but they had enough to hold on for a US 1-2 with Bridgewater touching ahead of Schwenk. Merisi come through for third in a time well outside his personal best

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